Hansen explains AllBlacks selections up front

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James Mortimer     06 Aug 2012     Getty Images

Faumuina has been rewarded for a series of barnstorming displays for the Blues earlier in the season, and now that he has recovered from his injury, will look to become the newest member of the All Blacks front row fraternity.

Picked also due to his ability to play on both sides of the scrum, with the All Blacks favouring a dual purpose prop within their squad, Hansen did say that Faumuina would play primarily as a tighthead, meaning that Faumuina, Wyatt Crockett and Ben Franks will look to put selection pressure on Owen and Tony Woodcock.

"We think he'll (Faumuina) put a lot of pressure on Owen (Franks) and that'll be good for Owen and good for the team," he said.

Liam Messam has been rewarded by inclusion in the squad, meaning that he will likely continue to battle with Adam Thomson and Victor Vito for the starting blindside position, while Sam Cane again is featured, indicating his performance against Ireland in the third test of the Steinlager Series, like Messam, ensured he remained part of the World Champion's squad.

Hansen said that Messam has been delivering what he has been asked to.

"He provided exactly what we were looking for, what we wanted, and he's continued to do that for the Chiefs so he deserves his spot," Hansen said.

While some eyebrows have been raised with the selection of just three locks, with Brodie Retallick and Luke Romano combining for four-test caps, with the second row without the massive experience of Ali Williams, who was ruled out via injury.

Hansen said that any lock would be replaced if injured, although he said the All Blacks would rely on their back rowers to provide cover in the air.

"We'll cover any emergencies with Kieran Read going into lock and Thomo (Adam Thomson) jumping as a lock in the lineout," Hansen said.

"Any long-term injury in the three that we've got then we'd replace them."